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Pulaski Police, Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney investigating boy’s death

Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 5:44 PM EST
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PULASKI, Va. (WDBJ) - The Pulaski County community is mourning the death of a kindergartener.

Extra staff and counselors are available at Critzer Elementary as police investigate the death of five-year-old Auston Wingo.

The YMCA of Pulaski County released a statement, saying lifeguards and staff at the Oakhurst Avenue location called 911 after finding Wingo unresponsive in the swimming pool around 2:30 p.m. Monday. They performed CPR before the boy was taken to Lewis Gale Pulaski and later flown to Roanoke Memorial. The boy was pronounced dead at 10:16 Monday night.

Pulaski County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Kevin Siers says a memorial fund created Tuesday has already received an outpouring of support.

“Someone who was just a bright happy-go-lucky young man that everyone loved having around and he was so optimistic and friendly and loved his family and big sister,” describes Dr. Siers. “It’s a tremendous loss for our school division and our community and his teacher and his family. Everyone’s just really suffering right now trying to make sense of all this.”

The Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney will work with police after Pulaski County’s office was recused by a court order. Commonwealth’s Attorney Justin Griffith stated the Y provides child care for a member of his immediate family.

“You have these kids in there every day you share their successes with them, you help them through their struggles, and then suddenly one is gone. It leaves a tremendous hole in your heart,” adds Dr. Siers.

Police are still working to determine the cause of death.

The Y’s CEO, Jessie Woods, says they are cooperating with investigators and will conduct an internal review.

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